Saturday, 4 February 2012

A non-gardening Saturday?

striped marsh frog from Frogs of Australia website
  • 1 punnet of tomatoes
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • chillies
What? A non-gardening Saturday? How can that be?  Yep!  I spent the whole day looking and applying for jobs. Oh well, at least it wasnt raining!

Tank full and ground watered everything is back into growing mode now that the sun has come out again.

With the frogs 'plonking' away in duets and mozzies buzzing my ankles (both have enjoyed the wet season!), I provide tonight's recipe.

Roasted fennel with cherry tomatoes , olives, garlic and olive oil (Hmm one of those ingredient list recipie titles!)

This is 'a Jamie' ( you know who I mean), it is such a favorite that I dont look at the recipe anymore so I  provide my version to share with you. It has a few added extras that I think work (chillies and shallots). It's from the irritatingly titled, "Happy days with the naked chef", but I do like his food and I  remember fondly  how bright and colourful his books looked  to me during our 5 years in England and that makes me feel good about any daft title. Fancy that, a Jamie book is an antidote to seasonal affective disorder. Perhaps it should be prescribed along with sun-imitating light bulbs!

2 bulbs of fennel (I bought these cause mine had all gone to seed)
cherry tomatoes*
shallots (the oniony little ones -  not the spring onion ones)
1 large handful of black olives
1 small handfull of thyme*
2 cloves garlic*
1 chilli chopped (seeds in ok with me)*
Vermouth or lemon juice* or white wine
olive oil

Heat roasting pan  with olive oil in oven. Add peeled shallots and the tops of your fennel -  the stalky and feathery bits and cook for a bit.

Heat water in a saucepan and blanch fennel bulbs cut into quarters. Remove with slotted spoon and add to tray along with tomatoes, garlic, olives and thyme. Drizzle with more olive oil and either Vermouth, or white wine or lemon juice and roast until  everything looks yummy and the tomatoes have started to split and ooze.

I often also pop into the same pan salmon fillets and cook all together.  I make it so often that  I say to myelf, 'come on, surely you could be a little more imaginative?', but then I eat it and remember why it is such a favorite.

Back to the frogs.  I have now found out that our frogs are striped marsh frogs, apparently one of the first to colonise backyard frog ponds and a 'voracious hunter'. Not voracious enough! I wish they would eat the mosquitoes!

Just noticed the similarity betten Harriet and the plonkers? Grey-brown stripes!  Harriet is not a voracious hunter thankfully!

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